Friday, November 23, 2007

True crime is so 5 minutes ago.

Creepy. Sad, and creepy. If you feel you must read true crime, this is a good one; Capote can spin webs of words like no one else. It's good writing, but for me? I'm done with the genre.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

I am thankful for:

1) The faith which sustains me; a God who is powerful and merciful, intimate and otherworldly.
2) My husband: my life partner, best friend, emotional rock, confidante, lover, biggest cheerleader, fellow traveler, and personal jester. He's the best.
3) My family. My stepdaughters and their blossoming families. My big brother, my sister-in-law (who is more sister than in-law), my nieces, my parents, my aunts and uncles, my cousins, and those who have gone before. I'm grateful for what each has given and taught me.
4) My job. I. Love. My. Job.
4a) My coworkers. The neatest, coolest group of dedicated, caring, knowledgable, fun folks.
4b) My boss. She is the best boss I've ever had.
5) My house. Sigh.
6) My cat. Lovey-boy.
7) My friends. Near or far, I am surrounded by people who appreciate me for who I am.

"In this world of sin and sorrow, there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." -- Henry Louis Mencken **

** With all due respect to my Republican friends and family!! hee, hee

Monday, November 19, 2007

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

HOW much??

Um, reality smacked us in the face today when we opened our latest utility bill. Our energy bills have increased 10x since we bought our house. We pay two now - gas and electric. I guess we never realized before how much the apartment paid for us (hot water, washer and dryer). I guess we can write some of it off as paying for two places during 10/1-10/15, but really...we were both a little shocked. I promptly went around adjusting thermostats and turning lights out. Time to buckle down. Plus it's winter, which costs more in general - more lights on longer, more hot water for showers, more heat. What are your favorite tips for keeping your energy bill low?

Monday, November 12, 2007

Monday Night = Bake Night

I hereby proclaim Monday Nights to be Bake Nights. To take (ahem) a page from her book, I'm copycatting Kelli and Emily in blogging about good food. I love baking, but I never seemed to get around to it ever since grad school. Well, grad school is long over, and it's getting on towards winter, and dark cold nights lend themselves to warm kitchens. Plus, we have a lovely new kitchen and oven to use!! So no more excuses. Time to try all those recipes I've torn out of magazines for years.

Tonight's inaugural recipe: Double Banana Pound Cake, from Cooking Light magazine (several issues ago). I had the overripe bananas on hand, and wanted to do something other than banana bread. This sounded good. The double-banana part is because the recipe calls for mashed bananas AND banana liqueur. Being short of the liqueur, I chose to use rum instead. I'm pretty sure this is a valid substitution; we'll see. If you want the recipe, let me know!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Balance and Book report

I'm taking a break today. We had our Open House yesterday, with lots of guests. It was fun and I'm glad we could open our doors to friends and family. But - I'm exhausted from trying to get the house together in time. So today is a day to balance back out. Rest, relax, listen to some music, do nothing, oh yes - and blog. Luckily tomorrow is also a holiday for me, so I'm looking forward to more of the same.

Book Report: The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak.

I can't answer the question, "How is it?" in the way I might for a Janet Evanovich (FUN!) or a Jane Austen (CLASSIC!) or a Margaret Atwood (FANTASTIC!) or a Malcolm Gladwell (FASCINATING!). First of all, the context of the book - Nazi Germany - does not lend itself to saying the book is "good." And the Narrator is definitely unique; however, not someone I care to know personally at this point in my life.
Still. Still, this book is immensely interesting, powerful, and yes, GOOD. It is the beauty in tragedy, the sweetness in bittersweet, the good feeling that comes on the heel of pain when you gently press a bruise. It's a glance at how people constantly reach deep down into themselves to their core, be it kind or cruel or indifferent or grieving - that when the shit comes down, people act like their core selves, whatever that self may be. And it's about people who live in grey times (where things are really not as black and white as hindsight makes them seem), where the legally or morally right action might mean infinite loss and the legally or morally wrong action means gain. In my opinion, this book is just as important to read as "Diary of Anne Frank." My only quibble is with its classification as a young-adult book. I think many adults may miss out, if they think of it in this context.

If you read it, please share your thoughts. This is one author I'll be following, even though I'm long past "young adult."

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

How to Comment

For all of you who have been trying to figure this out. (All two of you.)

1. Click on the "[#] Comments" at the bottom of the post.
2. Write your comment in the box.
3. Choose which option best fits you: Google Blogger/Other/Anonymous. Click on the circle next to the one you choose.
3a. If you do not have a blog site with google, choose "Other."
3b. If you choose "Other" and you don't have a website, that's OK. Just put your name, and leave website blank.
4. Click on the "Publish" button.

Et voila!!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Book Review

The Blind Assassin, by Margaret Atwood.

I can't figure out if Margaret Atwood is a genius or seriously twisted. Her books are always amazing in complexity, in gorgeous language, and in sheer story. She had me at The Handmaid's Tale. It's interesting, because she's not really sci-fi, yet her works often involve some type of fantastic or futuristic references. She's literature, for sure. I love when people or things are tough to categorize!! Which this book certainly was. I'm having a difficult time trying to capture it for you.
OK, well, basically it's the story of two sisters, growing up in Port Ticonderoga. One of them is narrating the story, the other figures heavily in the direction of the plot. One is solid, the other ephemeral. Both are bound by society, expectations, family, and history-as-its-happening (i.e. the Depression). There's also a story within the story about, as you might guess, a blind assassin (this is the sci-fi-ish part). The rest you'll have to discover for yourself. All I can say is, about halfway through the book, my whole perceptions of what was what in this book, totally shifted. And that's good writing!!

Next book for review: The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak. I'm still working on it, but it's a doozy. In a good way.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Happy Halloween!

Reasons why this Halloween totally rocked:
1. We had about 15 trick-or-treaters. This may not sound like much, but it's more than we had at our apartment. In the whole 10 years we lived there.

2. We got to use our fog machine.

3. We got to wear our pirate costumes TWICE - to a party, and to work.